How To Choose Laptop Screen

There are many different types of laptop screens on the market, and you should carefully consider which one you buy. You should look at the quality of the screen, in addition to other issues. Poor-quality screens won’t make the purchase worthwhile, even if the rest of the hardware is enviable.

You’re going to be staring at your laptop screen for hours, so it’s important to make sure it’s comfortable and doesn’t hurt your eyes. Also, the different parameters and types of panel technologies can be confusing if you don’t know the difference. For all this, in this article, we are going to see which one is best for you to help you choose according to your needs.

Laptop Screen size

Laptop Screen size
Laptop Screen size

When choosing a laptop screen, the first thing to consider is its size. Laptop screens are measured diagonally from corner to corner, just like monitors and TVs. There are several sizes, but the most common is 13 to 15 inches.

You can also find smaller laptops (11 to 12 inches). On the contrary, there are larger screens. 17 – inch screens are the most common, but some are even larger.

Laptops with screens from 13 to 15 inches are the most affordable and have the best mobility and autonomy since they are lighter, more compact, and consume less battery by not having to power such a large panel.

The 15″ could be a great option for most users. However, if you want a laptop for gaming or design, it is best to opt for a screen of at least 17″ to work more comfortably.

Screen resolution

Laptop Screen resolution
Laptop Screen resolution

Every laptop screen is made up of pixels. Pixels are small dots that make up the screen and display different elements. Working together, these dots display the images you see on your laptop screen. 

The more pixels a screen of the same size has, the higher the resolution and pixel density. In short, the higher the resolution, the more sharpness, and clarity you will get in the image, especially if you look at the screen closely.

Laptop screen pixels

Laptop screen pixels
Laptop screen pixels

When shopping for a laptop, you may see various screen resolutions. You should choose one with a screen of 1920×1080 (FullHD) or higher resolution. You can also see lower-resolution screens. 

Usually, these machines will be cheaper. You will get what you pay for. High-resolution screens have more pixels and can display more content. You can also get 2560×1440 (2K) or 3840×2160 (4K) resolution on your laptop. Although these higher resolutions produce a clearer image, they can consume more power.

Types of screen panels

Laptop Screen panels
Laptop Screen panels

There are a wide variety of panels a manufacturer can choose from, and they all come at different price points. Not surprisingly, higher-quality panels are more expensive, and that additional cost is passed on to the consumer. But it is important to know the different types to choose the most suitable for each case.

VA panels

These VA (Vertical Alignment) panels present the liquid crystals in a parallel arrangement to the video panels. This makes them much closer to each other, which avoids the microscopic light leaks of the TNs, improving image quality, but the compromising response time (they generate ghosting, that is, they leave trails when rapid movements appear in the image). scene). Therefore, they can be good for jobs where very good image quality is needed, such as photo retouching.

TN (Twisted Nematic)

They are simple and cheap to manufacture, which is why TN displays are often found in lower-end devices. Due to their poor viewing angles and inaccurate color reproduction, TN panels are often avoided. However, they are famous for their relatively fast refresh rate and lower prices.

IPS (In-Plane Switching)

These panels try to solve the problems of the TN screens. IPS screens have excellent viewing angles and color accuracy, as well as being more expensive to produce. As you may have deduced, IPS monitors are usually found in mid-range and high-end devices. They are the most popular among different brands and models of laptops.

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode)


Traditional LED displays illuminate all pixels with an LED backlight. The problem is that some colors appear washed out and the blacks appear grayer because the backlight illuminates them all. On an OLED display, the backlight can be turned on and off for each pixel, resulting in more accurate color reproduction and truer blacks. 

Although OLED screens are widespread in smartphones, they are less common in laptops. Many manufacturers offer laptops with OLED screens, although they are usually higher-end models. And one of its main advantages, apart from pure blacks, is that they tend to consume less battery by not depending on the backlight.

Brightness

Laptop Screen Brightness
Laptop Screen Brightness

It is important to have a clear display when using your notebook outdoors or in well-lit areas. A dull screen can be the result of having a laptop outside or in a well-lit area. You must have a screen that is brighter than the surrounding light to be productive. Poor screen visibility can ruin your productivity, so you need to be able to read it outdoors.

To keep things simple, remember that a higher number of nits indicates a brighter screen. It’s important to note that for laptops, the consensus is that the screen should be at least 250 nits. If you use your laptop outside or in direct sunlight frequently, you may prefer a laptop with a brighter screen that outputs more than 300 nits. 

Some screens emit many nits; however, a brighter screen will consume more electricity, which will drain the battery more quickly.

Refresh rate

Laptop Screen Refresh rate
Laptop Screen Refresh rate

The image is redrawn many times per second to create a smooth image. The refresh rate is what determines the smoothness of an image. The frequency with which a screen can redraw what it displays (in hertz) is called the refresh rate.

A computer screen starts with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which results in a smooth motion. A lower frequency results in jerky mouse movements. There are laptops with higher refresh rates, ranging from 120 to 360 Hz. Laptops with higher refresh rates tend to be more expensive, although they are not guaranteed to be beneficial.

Instead of being able to tell a big difference between 60 Hz and higher frequencies, a normal laptop user’s eye won’t even notice the difference. If you are a gaming enthusiast, you will notice that the picture is smoother. 

Whether or not you benefit from a higher refresh rate depends on what you want to do with your computer and your subjective opinion. Some people prefer a higher refresh rate, while others think it’s not important. It all depends on personal perspective.

Remember something important if you are going to choose high refresh rates, such as 90 Hz and above. And it is that your graphics card should be up to the task so that there is no gap between the screen and the GPU. That is, between the Hz and the FPS provided by the graphics card. 

However, to correct these problems, synchronization technologies such as AMD FreeSync, NVIDIA G-Sync, etc. have recently been implemented. But for these to be effective they must be supported by the GPU and by the screen…

Response time

Laptop Screen Response time
Laptop Screen Response time

Finally, do not confuse the refresh rate or refresh rate with the speed or response time of a screen. Response time is measured in ms (milliseconds) and determines the time it takes for a pixel to change from one color to another. 

The faster, the better for video games. Currently, some panels can even go up to 1 ms, which is great, since in 1 millisecond you could switch from one color to the next.

Now you know all the secrets to choosing the best screen for your laptop. Which one do you prefer?

Read more about How To Choose The Gaming Laptop You Need?

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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